Sunday, February 15, 2015

Rumbles!! Part 2

Tuesday 10am HB 1214 - the reflective clothing bill - will be considered by the House Transportation Committee. At 2pm HB 1030 - the 3' passing bill - will be considered by the full House.

In the meantime...

Read Rumbles!! Part 1 here. 

This complete "Rumbles!!" series is a demonstration of the value that Argus Leader Journalist David Montgomery has brought to the local cycling community. Without this article as the starting point the destruction of this piece of cycling habitat - Highway 151 south of Hartford - would have been a surprise to most and seemed anonymous.

To be sure my view is the riding community ought to take responsibility and be their own watchdog. To be equally sure there simply aren’t enough riders engaged enough in the process of how cycling habitat is created and destroyed to be very effective.

Here David Montgomery filled some of the gap. He caught something in a meeting somewhere and it registered enough with him to make some calls and write an article. Because of this, the rumbles planned for Highway 151 will not be a surprise and will not be done seemingly anonymously; at least to me and followers of The MinusCar Project.

I view this as my newspaper subscription dollars being put to good use directly connecting and contributing to the work I do for bicycle advocacy.


David Montgomery named names. Let’s look at the starting lineup, the players involved – pulled directly from the Argus Leader article in order of appearance:

Minnehaha County Commission – sometime between December 13 and 20, 2014 they approved rumble stripes on Highway 151. As an elected body they should at least pretend to care about me and my concerns. Maybe there’s even one of them that would champion my concerns. Some of them I may have voted for or against in elections, but to be honest I do not know which.

Minnehaha County Commission Chairwoman Cindy Heiberger – a cyclist! She’s concerned about creating the hazard! “Bicyclists beware,” she says. As an elected official she should at least pretend to care about me and my concerns. However, she is not someone that I am eligible to vote for, she lives elsewhere.

Larry Hayes – private citizen, local rider of bicycles.

Andy Vandel – Highway Safety Engineer with the South Dakota Department of Transportation. State staff should be reasonably responsive to a reasonable number of reasonable requests.


To me the most glaring thing in this article is not at all related to rumbles. It’s the claim by Department of Transportation Andy Vandel that “they have a dedicated liaison to bicyclist groups.” This is both damning and encouraging.

It’s damning because as a leading bicycle advocate in South Dakota nobody has ever presented themselves to me as a dedicated liaison to bicycle groups. I checked with four other leading advocates in the area and they all agreed, nobody had ever presented to them as being a dedicated liaison.

It’s encouraging too! Because – have you heard?!? – the state has a dedicated liaison to cycling groups. Might has well see if I can meet them...

1 comment:

SD_pedalpower said...

I think there used to be? It was called something like Metropolitan planning. I don't remember the name but I remember see & talking to state officials such as DOT and some others from Pierre at the meetings. I'm thinking Sam attended those meeting also. Maybe you want to check with him.